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Forest of Memory by Mary Robinette Kowal
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Forest of Memory

by Mary Robinette Kowal

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1079112,824 (3.72)5

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
4.5 stars

I forget how I stumbled across Forest of Memory even though it was only a few days ago. However I discovered it, I was debating about buying the ebook when I thought to check my library and my dilemma was solved because they had some paper copies! I’m glad I went the library route because there was something more authentic about reading it on paper that just wouldn’t have been present on an ereader. Of course, now if I want to reread it, I’d have to pick up an ecopy because even though it’s only a novella, the print version is priced not much below full length novels. Boo.

It took me a little while to get into because it follows this conceit of deliberately inserting some typos and strikeouts because the main character is supposed to be typing her story on an old-fashioned typewriter. I wasn’t sure I was buying it although I was trying not to be irritated. I will admit that although they were peppered throughout, they weren’t excessive, especially considering that this person would most likely have made a lot more than was shown. So I made my peace with that conceit in the end although I was initially iffy on it.

It’s set in a future, hyper-connected version of our world, where the main character, Katya Gould, drops off the grid when she encounters a stranger in the woods. He kidnaps her because she interrupts his work and the novella is the story of their encounter. So what did I like about it? It was creepy. I guess I just got sucked into the story. The ending turns out to be a bit of a puzzle which might annoy some people but to me makes it more interesting. She doesn’t have a lot of verifiable evidence because she dropped off the network (which in itself is super freaky for this world) but you’re left with wondering about her motivations if she were making it up or what his motivations would be if she weren’t… Plus there is some physical evidence.

All in all, it’s just weird and fun and interesting.
( )
  natcontrary | May 21, 2018 |
Wish this was much longer! ( )
  thsutton | May 18, 2018 |
Interesting concept, but not fleshed out enough to be properly enjoyable. ( )
  plumtingz | Dec 14, 2017 |
I've been keeping my eye out for speculative fiction novellas and novellettes on my trips to the library with the kids, and this one certainly looked interesting. The tension of a book as tiny as this is always will it feel like it does enough world-building and question answering to feel complete? Or will it feel like if it had just been a little bit longer it would have been more satisfying?

This book rides that line. There are a few world aspects I'm still feeling fuzzy enough on to want a little clarification, but that lack of explanation at least makes sense given the conceit of the story -- it is an account of an experience the narrator recently had, typed up for an unknown buyer on commission. Part of that conceit includes the idea that the story is being written on a typewriter, and typos are intrinsically part of the document.

Anyway, for such a short book, it functions on multiple levels. One of which being the nature of our dependency on our cyborg extensions -- computers to record and remember and reproduce things for us. In this story's future, this capability is advanced to the point that your LiveConnect can reproduce anything you've heard or seen for a given memory. When the connection to that system is suddenly interrupted, how does the brain's ability to create, interpret, and play back memories compare?

I spent most of this book with a very visceral desire to punch a certain character in the face, and for that reason I am glad that the book was short.

Interesting ideas. Well worth the read. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
Interesting, so many unanswered questions! And designed to be that way, I'm certain. ( )
  shaunesay | Jun 21, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kowal, Mary RobinetteAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ngai, VictoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Jay Lake and Ken Scholes
Who asked me to tell them a story
First words
My name is Katya Gould.
Quotations
If you haven't spent the night in the woods, just know that little birdsa re damn noisy. I mean...holy shit. They are so loud. And deeply, hatefully, cheerful.
Despite that, the birds woke me again at dawn. I lay in the tent, glaring at the roof. If I could have killed them with my mind, I would have. Alas, the cheerful little bastards lived on.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765387913, Paperback)

Katya deals in Authenticities and Captures, trading on nostalgia for a past long gone. Her clients are rich and they demand items and experiences with only the finest verifiable provenance. Other people’s lives have value, after all.

But when her A.I. suddenly stops whispering in her ear she finds herself cut off from the grid and loses communication with the rest of the world.

The man who stepped out of the trees while hunting deer cut her off from the cloud, took her A.I. and made her his unwilling guest.

There are no Authenticities or Captures to prove Katya’s story of what happened in the forest. You’ll just have to believe her.

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 19 Feb 2016 14:14:12 -0500)

"Katya deals in Authenticities and Captures, trading on nostalgia for a past long gone. Her clients are rich and they demand items and experiences with only the finest verifiable provenance. Other people lives have value, after all. But when her A.I. suddenly stops whispering in her ear she finds herself cut off from the grid and loses communication with the rest of the world. The man who stepped out of the trees while hunting deer cut her off from the cloud, took her A.I. and made her his unwilling guest. There are no Authenticities or Captures to prove Katya story of what happened in the forest. You l just have to believe her."--Page 4 of cover.… (more)

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Mary Robinette Kowal is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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Author Chat

Mary Robinette Kowal chatted with LibraryThing members from Sep 13, 2010 to Sep 26, 2010. Read the chat.

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